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If the Darwinian status of running a gasoline generator includes running it down below, then I agree. But nobody is that stupid. Are they?

Unless you're directly in the path of the exhaust gases being emitted, I find it really hard to conceptualise a condition where a genset operating on deck can end up killing you. That belief is really driven by the parallel belief that the genset would always be located as far away from occupants as they can get it just to escape the noise.
 
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I just looked at the study Mainsail talked about, and apparently, the vast majority of those deaths occurred when people fired up gasoline generators in their garages, basements and homes during power outages. Here is an exert from that study: ASHRAE Journal, Sept, 2014, Vol.56(9), p.92(4) [Peer Reviewed Journal]
Description: Concerns exist about the hazard of acute residential carbon monoxide (CO) exposures from portable gasoline-powered generators, which can result in death or serious adverse health effects. As of April 23, 2013 and as shown in Figure 1, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) databases contain records of at least 800 deaths (involving 597 incidents) from CO poisoning caused by consumer use of a generator in the period of 1999 through 2012. (1) Typically, these deaths occur when consumers use a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space or, less often, outdoors near a partially open door, window or vent. While avoiding the operation of such generators in or near a home would reduce indoor CO exposures significantly, it may not be realistic to expect such usage to be eliminated completely.

All the best,

Gary :cool:
Gary,

That is not the data I am referring to. The data I have, 45 pages of deaths and poisonings, is just specific to boats. As far as I know it is not a public document. I have it for one of the committees I sit on.
 

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I don't think it makes a bit of difference whether the exhaust gasses are created by diesel or gasoline - both are just as deadly.......
Both can be deadly, but gasoline exhaust has something in the neighborhood of 30 times more carbon monoxide than diesel exhaust. It's worth considering.
 

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All it takes is breeze from an unexpected direction... say you're anchored bow and stern, or your at a dock with no shore power... i.e. situations where you can't pivot into the wind, you run your generator in its normal stern location (usually downwind) and voila, your boat is full of carbon monoxide.

Put it on the bow to get away from the noise while you sit in the cockpit, it could easily drift down through solar vents / dorades and into the cabin.

You'll read different things, but it basically has a vapor density of 1.0 meaning it weighs the same as air, so it just hangs there (doesn't rise, doesn't sink) until acted on by the most minor or air currents and drifts - in my experience - exactly where you don't want it to.

-- Bass

If the Darwinian status of running a gasoline generator includes running it down below, then I agree. But nobody is that stupid. Are they?

Unless you're directly in the path of the exhaust gases being emitted, I find it really hard to conceptualise a condition where a genset operating on deck can end up killing you. That belief is really driven by the parallel belief that the genset would always be located as far away from occupants as they can get it just to escape the noise.
 

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So the below deck diesel units are water cooled. Exhaust gases mixed with water before egress from the boat. Exhaust is at the waterline.


Some how this is an equivalent danger of CO poisoning? Really? Please explain?

So you can put matches out in diesel. This is the same fire/burn risk as a hot engine on deck? Please explain?

So below deck units will tolerate 20-25* of heel. Still wondering if folks run their Hondas underway? Honestly don't know if a device made to run on level ground will run bouncing around on the sea. Please educate me.

Seems to me gas generators are great if you are not sailing and careful. Big issue for some is not those wonderful lazy days but when your draw is high but main engine is off. Overcast, 5-15 with radar, AP, frig/freezer, and all electronics going. No shower for 2-3 days so run the watermaker.

I'm with Maine. Boat should be set up that need for extra electrons should be never. But it does happen to me. Like to think fuel equals water shouldn't be true. Like to think wind vane means no AP as well. Like to think crew and I are vigilant with our eyes and everything shows up on AIS. Like think we see squalls before the radar and can see their size.

Admit I'm deficient. Clumsy on deck, get tired, like my steering and nav aids, sloppy pouring fluids on a pitching deck.Feel better after a shower. In short human.

No still hate generators. All generators. But still think below deck units make more sense for some.

Recall a day at Block. Wife pulled four consecutive days of 12h shifts. Finally got back to the boat. After the sail she needed sleep. Anchored in great salt pond. She was woken at 6a. Not one but 3 Hondas running. Not so quite in my mind.
Out to Jost van Dyke. Hard to get to sleep among the charter cats partying. Their vacation so I'm cool with it and understand. Just wish they played better music. They all crash. 10-15 boats with AC on (no need), some with TVs on ( no one watching) and diesel water cooling water splashing all night long. Wasteful and obnoxious.
 

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No still hate generators. All generators. But still think below deck units make more sense for some.
Yeah but like all things boat, everything can be fixed with cash. I'm in the process of installing a below deck diesel generator and so far I've spent about $6800 on the project. And this is for an inexpensive unit. Not everyone can afford one of these and not all boats even have the space to install one.

You should get off your high horse broken record about it as you are sounding like a boat snob to me.
 

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Gary,

That is not the data I am referring to. The data I have, 45 pages of deaths and poisonings, is just specific to boats. As far as I know it is not a public document. I have it for one of the committees I sit on.
Maine Sail... you must be talking about this study?

CDC - Carbon Monoxide Dangers in Boating - NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic

Lots of reading and while informative... most of us using the generators in a safe way will not have to worry if used responsibly... anything else is pretty much nonsense.
 

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I have an EU1000 (smaller cousin of the 2k) that I use sometimes with my 4wd camping van, my experience with that generator is that it would NOT tolerate running at an angle at all... I think you'd starve the oil pump and seize the engine, unless it starved of fuel first.

So below deck units will tolerate 20-25* of heel. Still wondering if folks run their Hondas underway? Honestly don't know if a device made to run on level ground will run bouncing around on the sea.
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
A friend of mine purchased a generator for his work, and I thought of my boat.The need for a generator is not urgent, but just wondered if it would be a reasonable/necessary purchase. If I were to purchase one, the noise and where to place it would be the concern
 

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Both can be deadly, but gasoline exhaust has something in the neighborhood of 30 times more carbon monoxide than diesel exhaust. It's worth considering.
Keep in mind that it only takes a minuscule amount of CO to kill a person, mainly because the human body absorbs CO at a rate 300 times faster than O2. When I worked at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Unit we had a hyperbaric chamber for treating CO poisoning and other diseases. We saw lots of CO poisoned patients every year, often children. In those instances, though, the CO was the result of faulty, natural gas, hot water heaters and plugged chimneys. The oddest case I treated was a guy who was a heavy cigar smoker, one that inhaled the cigar smoke. When he came in, his skin was blood red and he was gasping for every breath. His CO blood level was near the lethal level and he spent two days in the chamber before recovering.

So, like I stated above, both are deadly - one may be quicker, but both sources are very lethal.

Gary :cool:
 

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I have an EU1000 (smaller cousin of the 2k) that I use sometimes with my 4wd camping van, my experience with that generator is that it would NOT tolerate running at an angle at all... I think you'd starve the oil pump and seize the engine, unless it starved of fuel first.

My Honda 2000 has run at various angles underway without a problem for eight years now. It does have an electric fuel pump so that may be helping not sure if you 1000 unit has the same configuration.
 

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My Honda 2000 has run at various angles underway without a problem for eight years now. It does have an electric fuel pump so that may be helping not sure if you 1000 unit has the same configuration.
And, similar to most small gasoline engines, they do not use an oil pump, but instead, use an oil splasher, which does a great job on lawn mowers, garden tractors, etc...

Gary :cool:
 

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Keep in mind that it only takes a minuscule amount of CO to kill a person.......
Well, there is a minuscule amount of CO in the atmosphere. Whether it kills you is dependent on both the amount of CO in the air you breath, as well as exposure time. It would take an extraordinary amount of CO to kill you in one breath, but it is theoretically possible. More typical, you'll die after repeatedly breathing the CO and it cumulatively attaches to your hemoglobin, thereby preventing O2 from doing so.

Suffice it to say, it will take 30x more diesel exhaust to kill you, than gasoline exhaust, over the same period. Said differently, the equivalent amount of exhaust will have much less CO from diesel and, therefore, take substantially longer to kill you.
 

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If CO was such an issue I and everyone driving convertibles on the roads for hours at a time behind some real polluters should theoretically be dead (dazed or prone to suffocation) a long time ago from all those emissions at a far higher dosage than what one would get on a sailing vessel out in all sorts of open areas and winds. Just a haphazard guess... ;)
 

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The risk of death is clearly from CO getting down a hatch or companionway, not while sitting outside.
 

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Marine CO2 detector $89 from Defender

FireBoy - Xintex Sentinel Carbon Monoxide Detector - No Relay

If you skip that and die, oh well one less idiot!

I'm not against people having generators, even portable ones. But I don't support overly protecting idiots. In fact I'm for allowing idiots to do whatever damage to themselves as they wish. As we say in New Hampshire "Live Free or Die"
 

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Don. Problem is much to perhaps your mutual dismay we do not live in a libertarian society. You my friend not infrequently get to pay for others stupidity.
Chronic surprisingly low level CO intoxication or acute CO intoxication selectively damage the basal ganglia producing an irreversible movement disorder. These people are significantly disabled. You Don get to pay and support them. Always fascinated to me that smokers on the other hand have lower rates of the most common significant movement disorder. That being Parkinson's Disease. Don't see anything too snotty about that. Maybe just don't like unfortunate folks drooling. Miserable to be brain injured. Should only have sympathy not your cruel heartless attitude.
 
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